My Reading List

From time to time people ask me what books I recommend they read…normally in the personal development niche. The books below are all worth reading for different reasons, though some are admittedly better than others, some general, some intellectual… They all shine a light on something though, oppose each other and look at things in interesting ways.

Healing Back Pain, the Mindbody Solution – Dr. John E. Sarno (it’s how I cured RSI and I believe it’s the kind of read you ignore at your own peril – it’s so much more than just about back pain and the reviews on Amazon says it all)

The Four Agreements – Don Miguel Ruiz (the book of all books)

The Mastery of Love – Don Miguel Ruiz

The Science of Acting – Sam Kogan (it’s a lot about psychology; I studied at his school)

Stop Thinking and Start Living – Richard Carlson

Blink – Malcolm Gladwell

Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind – Yuval Noah Harari

The Five Love Languages – Gary Chapman (very useful in any kind of relationship)

The Magician’s Way – William Whitecloud (disclaimer: I know him, but that’s not why I recommend the book)

The Last Shaman – William Whitecloud

The Way of the Superior Man – David Deida

Brida – Paulo Coehlo

The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

The Pilgrimage – Paulo Coelho

Who Moved My Cheese – Spencer Johnson

Tricks of the Mind – Derren Brown (he has come out with two more books which I am as yet to read)

The Four Man Plan – Cindy Lu

The Game – Neil Strauss (This is about pick-up artists. What’s important is that you learn how attraction can be manipulated. You want to fall for real attraction, you also want to learn people skills, because all of life is a form of attraction to people.)

Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus – John Gray (this book is what it is, but it makes some valid points)

The Shaman in Stilettoes – Anna Hunt

The Language of Desire – Felicity Keith (this is not a literary masterpiece, in fact it’s as far from it as humanly possibly, but it has very valid points when it comes to men and sexuality. It’s a nice read if you want to spice up your sex life. Dirty language guaranteed)

Emotions Revealed – Paul Ekman (haven’t read more than parts yet)

Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love – Dr. Sue Johnson (haven’t read more than parts yet)

Receiving Love: Transform Your Relationships by Letting Yourself Be Loved – Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt (haven’t read more than parts yet)

As for autobiographies, I’ve been swooning over quite a few by Richard Branson, I love Jobs by Walter Isaacson and I adored The Secret Life of Houdini by William Kalush and Larry Sloman (I may suffer from a great interest in mentalism…).

Apricots on the Nile — Colette Rossant (all her books I’ve read are excellent food memoires)

When it comes to fiction…the list is too long, but a few favorites include:

Anything Isabel Allende (this is the woman who I saw give a speech in a church in Vancouver when I was seventeen who said that she knew she had cured her depression when she dreamed of Antonio Banderas swimming in rice pudding — I LOVE her!)

The Amelia Peabody Series — Elizabeth Peters (cozy, hilarious, murder mystery and tons of facts about ancient Egypt as it’s about some archeologists and written by a trained egyptologist)

The Coffeehouse Murder Mysteries — Cleo Coyle (coffee and murder in a very cozy setting in NYC)

The Night Circus — Erin Morgenstern (it’s slow for the first few chapters but if you get through that…oh boy!)

East of Eden — John Steinbeck (possibly my favorite book of all time)

Anything Sarah Addison Allen — magical realism and (sometimes) food woven together

The Love Goddess Cooking School — Melissa Senate (food and magical realism again)

My Notorious Life: A Novel — Kate Manning (amazing book about a woman pro birth control in VIctorian New York where women often died in childbirth and the poor couldn’t feed another mouth — controversial and stunning)

Julia Golding’s Cat Royal series (a young heroine raised in a theatre in the 1790s goes on swashbuckling adventures — the books are for people age nine and up so I guess I qualify…) and The Companion’s Quartet series (YA fantasy with an eco twist)

Alison Goodman — The Dark Days Club (regency fantasy filled with romance and mystery)

The Mermaid’s Sister — Carrie Anne Noble (fantasy fairytale that I love)

The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Magic series — Helen Harper (hilarious witch murder mystery that’s actually well written)

Anna and the French Kiss — Stephanie Perkins (romantic YA)

Jordan Rivet’s Steel and Fire series (YA fantasy with a lot of sword fighting)

Rachel E. Carter’s Black Mage series (YA with a lot of fighting and romance)

Books by M. J. Rose — not all are great, but some are wonderful; I love the magical realism related to perfume

Like Water for Chocolate — Laura Esquivel (magical realism and food)

Mornings in Jenin — Susan Abulhawa (one of the best books I’ve ever read, but immensly tragic — about the war in Palestine. It helped me grasp what living in a war zone is like and it’s beautifully written)